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Friday, August 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2019

A masterclass in insensitivity towards people suffering from mental illness in the Chattanooga News, August 23, 1919:

They’ve gone baseball crazy at the Elgin [Illinois] State Hospital for the Insane. But Supt. Ralph Hinton, says baseball dementia is preferable to being just plain crazy and the patients are being cured and improved steadily.
...
I saw Arnold Hauser, former star shortstop with the St. Louis Cards and later a Federal leaguer, make brilliant stops and one-handed catches, bang out a single, triple and home run. Yet he pulled nothing clever in the “inside game.”

Hauser is the star of the team and his mind is improving. He at first was a bad player on the hospital team. He would make a brilliant catch in the field and then just let the ball drop from his hands. He was stubborn and wouldn’t follow instructions. Now he is a reliable fielder, polite to the girl coach and ready always to oblige.

I hadn’t heard Hauser’s story before, but it’s extremely sad. He was an everyday big league player in 1910 at age 21, a glove-first shortstop with good speed and a so-so bat. Things fell apart for Hauser very quickly; his mother died by suicide in June 1912, then he tore a ligament in his knee in Spring Training 1913, and his baby daughter died in June 1913.

The Cardinals sent Hauser to Spring Training before the rest of the roster in 1914, thinking that a long trip in the South would help him recover. Instead, it did the opposite. He was homesick and lonely, beginning to show signs of delusion, missed his wife, and lost 25 pounds. Hauser’s wife went to Florida to see him, and eventually took him to a sanitarium back in St. Louis. He spent most of the rest of his life institutionalized, making a quick cameo with the 1915 Chicago Whales along the way. Hauser passed away in 1966, at the age of 77.

Sources: Hauser’s SABR bio and The April 9, 1914 issue of The Sporting News.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2019

New York Tribune, August 22, 1919:

“Who has the hardest wallop,” queries a reader, “Babe Ruth or Jack Dempsey?” It depends on whether they are hitting a baseball or Jess Willard.

Either way, the thing getting hit is knocked into next week.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:01 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 21, 1919:

Joseph Wilhoit, outfielder of the [Wichita] Western League club, and who will go to the Boston Americans next month, [yesterday] ended his batting streak in which he set a new world record by hitting safely in 69 consecutive games. The former record of 45 consecutive games was made by Jack Ness of Oakland, Cal., in 1915.

Wilhoit, who formerly played with the Boston Nationals and the New York Giants in the 69 contests prior to [yesterday], was at bat 299 times and secured 151 hits. His percentage was .505. He obtained five home runs, eight triples, 23 doubles and 115 singles.

He hit .505 during a 69 game hitting streak? Nice.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, nice

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2019

Seattle Star, August 20, 1919:

Big Bob Meusel, the Vernon star, could learn a lot of baseball that he doesn’t know now better [in the PCL] than he would be able to learn it in the big show…according to Jack Knight, Seattle first sacker.
...
“Meusel has wonderful ability,” says Jack, “but he is far from a finished player. He can be fooled easily and will be fooled more often than he is out here when he goes to the majors. Another year in the Pacific Coast League wouldn’t hurt him any.”

Meusel only hit .328 with 58 extra-base hits for the 1920 Yankees. This was indeed worse than his 1919 output for Vernon: .337 with 67 extra-base hits.

Another cautionary tale of an overmatched kid getting rushed to the majors before his time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 19, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2019

Pittsburgh Press, August 19, 1919:

The baseball war between Franklin and Oil City, situated within eight miles of each other, and baseball rivals since time immemorial, has reached a climax in the signing by Franklin of three members of the Philadelphia American League team. They are Scott Perry and Thomas Rogers, pitchers, and Harry O’Donnell, catcher. Oil City has not been idle, and lately has acquired Gordonier, of the Buffalo International League team, and Carman [sic] Hill of Indianapolis, formerly of the Pittsburg Pirates.

I know that it was a result of lower salaries at the time, but it’s just inconceivable to me that small cities in the (relative) middle of nowhere could sign multiple major league players for their rivalry games.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 10:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 16, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 16, 1919:

When Babe Ruth, the slugger extraordinary, made a home run off Dick Kerr, the young southpaw, at Comiskey Park on Thursday, he shattered an American League record that stood for nearly seventeen years.

Back in 1902 “Socks” Seibold, then a member of the Athletics, made sixteen circuit smashes during the course of the season. Ruth’s homer on Thursday was his seventeenth of the 1919 campaign and his thirty-seventh in the American League.

Ruth has still a little way to go to reach Cravath’s mark, made in 1915. The new manager of the Phillies made twenty-four homers that year. The National League record is twenty-five, held by Buck Freeman.

Ruth: “Hold my beer and watch this. No, seriously, hold my beer, I’d have hit a bunch more home runs if I weren’t holding it all the time.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 15, 1919:

Three members of the board of directors of the American League, constituting a majority of the board, ordered Pitcher Carl Mays reinstated at a special meeting [in New York yesterday], thus nullifying the action of President Johnson in suspending him.

The directors, after reviewing the case, adopted resolutions declaring that the “alleged suspension was without authority and void and against the best interests of and detrimental to the welfare of baseball,” and forbade Johnson from taking similar action against any other player in the American League “without a hearing and an opportunity to be heard given to the player and club involved for any alleged offense.”

I think they might be a little bit upset.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2019

New York Tribune, August 14, 1919:

Outgamed, outplayed and outlucked by Pat Moran’s Cincinnati Reds, the Giants lost two melodramatic games at the Polo Grounds yesterday, slumping six and a half games behind the leaders…What is conceded by the oldest inhabitants to be the record baseball attendance witnessed the obsequies. It is estimated that there were something like 40,000 persons looking on.

Experts on high baseball explosives detected an ominous sound during the two games—a sound as of the Giants cracking under the strain.

They just don’t write ‘em like they used to.

Elsewhere in the news 100 year ago today, former Cardinals and Athletics catcher Pete Noonan has reportedly inherited a million dollars.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Red Sox lefty Chris Sale becomes fastest pitcher to 2,000 strikeouts in MLB history

Via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, here are the six fastest in terms of innings needed to get to 2,000:

Sale, 1626 innings
Pedro Martinez, 1711 1/3
Randy Johnson, 1733 1/3
Max Scherzer, 1784
Clayton Kershaw, 1837 2/3
Nolan Ryan, 1865 2/3

While Sale, Scherzer and Kershaw are (or have been) excellent pitchers, it would be nice if articles like this would point out how much strike outs have increased in the game, for context—and the same holds for articles about home runs

Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:15 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-13-2019

Bridgeport Times, August 13, 1919:

Organized baseball is about to receive a thorough housecleaning. Sick and tired of the manner in which the present National Commission has governed the game, the clubowners of both the American and National Leagues, at a recent meeting decided to make a drastic change.

The change will be the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, of Chicago, as supreme head of organized baseball.

They weren’t wrong. It just took about 15 months to happen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-12-2019

Toledo News-Bee, August 12, 1919:

Senator [James D.] Phelan of California is no baseball fan, as this will show.

Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson, recent visitors at the Capitol, nearly broke a quorum of the Senate while the Senate fans shook their hands. Senator Phelan couldn’t understand the unusual interest of the senators in crowding about their favorites.

Taking a member aside, Senator Phelan whispered cautiously in his ear: “Tell me, who is this man Ty Cobb whom they are making such a fuss over?”

Seems like Phelan and Cobb would have been fast friends.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 12, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 09, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-9-2019

Vernon Parish [Louisiana] Democrat, August 9, 1919:

Chattanooga and Atlanta went 23 innings to a tie in the Southern. It took a Merkle play to make the game go the long distance, as the needed wallop arrived in the nineneenth with two down. The sacks were full and Griffith of Chattanooga singled, but Marshall, who was on first, repeated Merkle’s famous play and omitted to touch second, making the final out.

Chattanooga finished a half-game behind Memphis for fifth place in the 1919 Southern League. It’s hardly a big deal, but that brainfade did change the final standings. Atlanta won the league by seven games, so it didn’t matter to them.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-8-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 8, 1919:

Carl Mays, the pitcher suspended for the season by Ban Johnson, president of the American League, pitched the second game for New York [yesterday], on the strength of the injunction obtained yesterday by the New York club restraining the American League from preventing Mays from pitching. Papers to that effect were served last night on Hildebrand and Moriarity, the umpires, and Robert Quinn, business manager of the St. Louis team. The umpires held a long consultation before the start of the game, but made no effort to stop Mays from pitching.

Washington Times, August 8, 1919:

“I refuse to be interviewed,” was all Ban Johnson, president of the American League, would say today, when asked for information concerning the Mays case.

Ban seems a bit salty.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 08, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2019

Pittsburgh Press, August 7, 1919:

An unusual accident was recorded recently in a semi-professional baseball game at Denver, when James Hume, a pitcher for one of the contending teams, suffered a broken arm. Hume had pitched about 12 balls when he wound up for a wide out-curve. Just as the ball left his hand Hume’s arm broke midway between the shoulder and elbow as clean as if struck by a flywheel. The accident was one of the most unusual ever recorded in baseball.

*Dave Dravecky, Tony Saunders, John Smiley and Joel Zumaya wince*

Elsewhere in the news, the Yankees have unsurprisingly gotten an injunction preventing the American League from suspending Carl Mays.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-6-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 6, 1919:

Hanging upon the wall at the office of the New York Americans on Forty-second street yesterday was a framed photograph of Ban Johnson. It hung next to photographs of Garry Herrmann and John Bruce, secretary of the National Baseball Commission. Today that same photograph was on the floor, the glass smashed into 100 pieces and the photograph itself rent asunder.

The deed was done, so it is said, with a sword worn by Col. Huston when he took part in the Spanish-American War. Friends of Col. Huston turned the trick.

I’m getting the distinct impression the Yankees are unhappy with Carl Mays being suspended.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 06, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, August 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-5-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 5, 1919:

Carl Mays, the bone of contention in what promises to be the most bitter scrap in the history of American League baseball, may pitch for the Yankees at the Polo Grounds tomorrow afternoon, if the New York club obtains an injunction [overturning a suspension for jumping the Red Sox].
...
Col. T.L. Huston, of the New York club, [yesterday] said that the basis of the whole trouble was that the American League president [is a part owner of] the Cleveland club and that it was the failure of this club to get Mays that prompted him to suspend the pitcher and deprive the Yankee club of his services this season.
...
It is pointed out that Johnson formed the American League with a crowd of National League contract jumpers…Why Johnson should suddenly shift and become such a stickler for discipline in this particular case is what the Yankee owners want explained.

Meanwhile, Cleveland owner James Dunn doesn’t seem willing to deny that Ban Johnson owns part of the Indians:

“The Cleveland club is a stock corporation. Mr. Johnson is the one to say whether he has an interest in the Cleveland club.”

Not a great look for Ban.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 05, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, August 02, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-2-2019

Yankees owner Cap Huston responds to a quote from Ban Johnson about the Carl Mays suspension standing unless “evidence of extenuating circumstances was produced”.

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 2, 1919:

“If Ban Johnson means that, I can promise him one of the most interesting baseball fights this game ever has seen. I also will promise both Mr. Johnson and the general baseball public that the New York club will not sit idly by and stand for this interference with its property rights.”

I do believe those are fighting words.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 02, 2019 at 10:31 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 1, 1919:

Carl Mays, the Boston pitcher, who was traded [July 30] by the Boston Americans to the New York Yankees, has been suspended indefinitely by B.B. Johnson, president of the American League. The suspension is the result of the result of the desertion of the Boston club by Mays in Chicago, July 13.

Directly below that story, a statement from the Red Sox:

“The Boston club is not interested in the action of President Johnson; Pitcher Mays now is the property of the New York club and they will have to deal with the matter.

Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1919:

Owners of the New York American league baseball club may ask an injunction from the courts to protect them from any action by Ban Johnson in dealing with the case of Carl Mays, star pitcher, who joined the club yesterday.

They did, and it worked. Mays made his Yankees debut on August 7, 1919. The court case went on for a while; there’s an article in the New York Times from mid-September 1919 about a court hearing in which the Yankees were working to make the injunction permanent. Ban Johnson contended that the Red Sox had been responsible for enforcing the suspension and that the Yankees wrongly acquired Mays.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 01, 2019 at 10:24 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2019

Pittsburgh Press, July 31, 1919:

Baseball fans are, of course, just human beings, but have you ever noticed how cruel and heartless human beings sometimes become when they are herded together into a crowd?...[Hal Chase] is being constantly reminded of the charged which were brought against him last fall by members of the Cincinnati club, and on which he was found not guilty by President Heydler, of the National League.

On Tuesday at Forbes Field, Chase was unfortunate to strike out in the first game. The fans showed him no sympathy, but one man yelled: “Did McGraw pay you to do that?”

I mean, technically he did; Giants management was paying Chase to play baseball. Anyway, it’s difficult for me sitting here in 2019 to have much sympathy for Hal Chase being upset about being heckled for dishonest play.

Elsewhere in the news, Reds outfielder Edd Roush has been fined $50 for attacking an umpire with a bat. He didn’t actually hit the ump because other players intervened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 31, 2019 at 09:55 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-30-2019

Rock Island Argus, July 30, 2019:

Detroit hammered Musser and Caldwell and defeated Boston, 10 to 8, in the first game of the series. Ruth made his 16th home run of the year equaling the league record. With two out in the ninth Leonard walked Roth, Ruth hit the first pitch into the center field bleachers. He already had doubled twice.

Pitching around Braggo Roth to face Babe F. Ruth is not exactly brilliant.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 30, 2019 at 11:10 AM | 120 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 29, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-29-2019

Bridgeport Times, July 29, 1919:

White Sox Owner Determined to Put Stop to Gambling

President Comiskey of the Chicago White Sox has started a vigorous crusade against the baseball gamblers at his park. In taking this step the owner of the White Sox is backing up the National Commission, which for several years has been trying to stamp out a dangerous evil.

It is understood that the commission is gathering evidence in other cities where betting on the ball game is carried on openly, and that next winter there will be a showdown.

Gamblers: *throw chairs*
White Sox: *throw series*

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 29, 2019 at 09:55 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 25, 1919:

Joe McCarthy, second baseman for the Louisville American Association club for the past four years, who temporarily was appointed manager when Pat Flaherty resigned that position three days ago, has been permanently appointed. McCarthy is very popular both with the players and the public.

Just another example of a team taking the easy way out and picking a new manager based on popularity. There’s no chance McCarthy makes it as a manager. 100 years from now, nobody will even know who he was.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 25, 2019 at 10:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2019

Washburn [Wisconsin] Times, July 24, 1919:

Many ball players have fads of one kind and another. A brief list might be instructive.
...
Joe Benz has an account of every game he has ever pitched pasted away in a scrap book. Dutch Leonard has a passion for talking machines, and spends much of his spare cash purchasing records. Eddie Collins is strong for flowers, and picks up a rose bush here and a new kind of plant there for his garden back in a suburb of Philadelphia.
...
The only objects in sight [in Jack Fournier’s room] were two scrap books on a table beside the water pitcher. Many of the clippings in his books refer to him as the Frenchman, which he collects with great delight. “You know,” he confided, “I was born in Michigan.”

Yeah, but he was from Au Sable, Michigan. Your move, Frenchman.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2019 at 10:51 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-23-2019

Topeka State Journal, July 23, 1919:

George Cochran, former Topeka third baseman, was the victim of a peculiar accident at the American association ball park [in Louisville] Tuesday. He was hit in the back with a ball thrown by Good, of the Louisville team. Cochran had hit a ball too hot for McCarthy, pitcher, to handle, and Good recovering heaved the ball towards the first baseman. Cochran on the path, received the ball over the kidney and dropped like he was pole-axed. He was unconscious for a half hour.

On reviving in the club house Cochran’s first words were, “Did he hit me with a bat.” Cochran may be internally injured.

I’m not sure how severe his injury was, but I know that Cochran was playing pro baseball in the high minors into the early 1920s and lived until 1960. Looks like he recovered.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 23, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 22, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2019

Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1919:

The Boston Redsox of the American league are said to be threatening a mutiny because of the reports that Carl Mays, right handed pitching star, is to be sold or traded to the New York Americans.
...
Mays quit the Redsox, with whom he had a $9,000 per year contract in the third inning of a game in Chicago and disappeared, announcing that he was through with baseball and would go on a fishing trip.
...
Instead of suspending him indefinitely or otherwise taking action…Barrow puzzled the critics and fans by beginning negotiations for the disposal of Mays to another club.

Red Sox players and fans were also said to be upset that Mays might end up with the Yankees. They should grab a helmet and strap in, because they haven’t seen anything yet.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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